Durban, 23rd October 2019:  Hollywoodbets were today unveiled as The Sharks new associate sponsor, on a three-year deal.

The roots of these two iconic brands may be firmly entrenched in KwaZulu-Natal but through a pioneering spirit and strong vision, both brands have been able to achieve a solid national footprint.

This partnership will further enable the two companies to enhance their brands and build on their successes, through innovative campaigns that seek to benefit both parties.

Commenting on the partnership, The Sharks CEO, Eduard Coetzee said: “We are thrilled to welcome Hollywoodbets to the Sharks family.  Our community is important to us and it is fantastic that we are able to partner with like-minded brands, such as Hollywoodbets, who share our values and commitment of giving back and supporting our own.

“We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship that seeks to push boundaries and elevate both brands to a new level.”

Brand and Communications Manager at Hollywoodbets, Devin Heffer, says the Hollywoodbets team can’t wait to sink their teeth into this new opportunity. “We are absolutely elated to partner with an iconic brand like the Cell C Sharks, and to extend our sponsorship of rugby within the province of KZN.

As with any of our sport sponsorships, our roots began at community level, sponsoring the oldest club competition in the world, the Hollywoodbets Murray Cup, and progressing further with our team sponsorships via the Phaka Rugby Show on SuperSport.

To take that next step to franchise level is another hugely exciting step in our rugby sponsorship journey. It will also act as a springboard to further give back to our community, and we are eagerly looking forward to working with the Cell C Sharks on these initiatives.

Hollywoodbets foray into sport sponsorships is well-known with their sponsorship of the Hollywoodbets Dolphins as well as their investment into horse racing.  After their successful partnership with the KZNRU with the sponsorship of the Murray Cup Club rugby competition for the last two years, they now extend their sporting footprint in KwaZulu-Natal into the professional rugby scene.

As part of the partnership, the Hollywoodbets logo will feature on the Cell C Sharks’ playing shorts for the Vodacom Super Rugby competition, and on the back of the jersey for the Currie Cup.

Cell C Sharks season ticket holders will also benefit from this partnership with the introduction of exclusive online betting credits, as well as special discounts at the Hollywood Bunny Bar. Further information regarding these benefits will be released shortly.

The post THE SHARKS WELCOME HOLLYWOODBETS appeared first on The Sharks.

Home Grown Talent That Shone In 2019:

The Cell C Sharks will benefit from the youth policy employed during the 2019 rugby season when going into Vodacom Super Rugby in 2020.

Continuity is key in any sport and giving opportunities to young players ensures that a team is able to fill in gaps left by departing players and provide home grown talent the chance to excel.  The Cell C Sharks showed in 2019 that they were not afraid to back the youngsters that this will continue going into the new season.

The Cell C Sharks will boast further continuity in the coaching department with the retention of Sean Everitt for Vodacom Super Rugby, a coach who has worked with these youngsters, some of them over the course of three competitions.

A successful 2018 junior campaign was not just important for the Cell C Sharks Under 19 side and individual players to prove their worth in a national tournament, but it provided the pipeline for the stars to make the next step to the senior ranks for The Sharks.

2019 has seen the emergence of a host of young, talented players who have shown their desire and ability on the rugby field. Having gone through the SA Rugby Under 19 Championship competition last year unbeaten all the way to the final and the winners’ trophy, some of these players then stepped up at Super Sport Rugby Challenge level while others gained Vodacom Super Rugby experience, earning their debuts at the highest level of franchise rugby.

A number of them subsequently starred for South Africa at the World Rugby Under 20 competition recently held in Argentina where the Baby Boks beat the hosts to finish in third spot.

Following the conclusion of the Vodacom Super Rugby campaign, the Cell C Sharks lost a host of players to the Springbok Rugby World Cup cause and to overseas contracts, leaving the team needing to fill in a number of gaps.  This has necessitated bringing in experienced players in certain positions to counter that loss, although this certainly does not close the door to young players, as in 2019.

More than half the side that started the Vodacom Super Rugby quarter-final against the Brumbies was unavailable to coach Sean Everitt for the opening Currie Cup match just a few weeks later and while the time struggled initially, they put together a strong charge to the semi-finals.

This was in spite of the youth and inexperience at this level for a number of players who were thrown into the deep end and who showed a propensity for podium finishes.

Phepsi Buthelezi, the Cell C Sharks Under 19 and SA Under 20 captain, hailing from DHS was an example of a player who stepped up and was counted. He made his senior debut in Vodacom Super Rugby before featuring in all seven Currie Cup matches during the campaign and gaining the sixth-most playing minutes of the 32-man squad.

Others to feature in Vodacom Super Rugby for the first time included Fezo Mbatha (Maritzburg College), Kerron van Vuuren and JJ van der Mescht (Glenwood High School) and Dylan Richardson (Kearsney College).

More recently, Sanele Nohamba, Buthelezi’s team-mate at DHS, also featured in seven Currie Cup matches, a number of them off the bench before getting an opportunity to start and then earning the Man of the Match award for his first two starts in the number nine jersey.

Other locally schooled players – Dylan Richardson, Kerron van Vuuren and Khutha Mchunu (Glenwood High School) – all played important roles, as did the other KZN youngsters who represented the Cell C Sharks U/21 team.

These youngsters have all enjoyed opportunities at the highest level and above all, received the backing of their coach and the franchise. Their experiences in 2018 and 2019 can only benefit them and add to the firepower available to the Cell C Sharks in the 2020 and beyond.

The post Home Grown Talent That Shone In 2019 appeared first on The Sharks.

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